Review of ‘Calendar girl’ by Georgia Beers.

Addison Fairchild runs a division of Fairchild Enterprises, her mother’s multimillion-dollar company and is one of the candidates to get the CEO position when her mother retires. That is, if she can cope with the stress and huge workload associated with her current job. Her mother forces Addison to hire an assistant, Katie Cooper, who is cheerful, too helpful and gorgeous. After some initial hostility, their business relationship starts to change into something else. Will Addison and Katie have a future together?

Georgia Beers excels at writing office romances, ‘Too close to touch’ being a prime example. The author portrays well the sexy power play in business and the sexual temptation in some boss-assistant relationships. ‘Calendar girl’ is not an exception. Like ‘Too close to touch’it also features some family drama, in this case, Katie’s father battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

The book is written in third person from the point of view of both main characters with a few excerpts from the pov of Katie’s best friend and Addison’s sister. The mains have great chemistry and the intimate scenes are hot, with some great role reversal. The story has funny moments and also heartbreaking ones. Nothing surprising here as Ms. Beers is a seasoned author. There are some passing references to her previous books such as ‘Blend’ and the Puppy Love Romance series which readers will appreciate.

My main issue with this book is that the conflict and resolution feels a bit rushed and forced. The Alzheimer’s disease subplot is, for my liking, left hanging a bit. In my opinion, it had much more potential for development. I think that Ms. Beers’ fans will be satisfied with this book but maybe not thrilled. We all know her potential that’s why this novel is a bit disappointing.

Overall, an ok read with some good moments. Recommended for office romance fans. 3.5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Alias’ by Cari Hunter.

I have conflicting feelings towards Cari Hunter’s books: sometimes her stories are a bit gruesome for my taste. The problem is she’s a great writer, probably one of the best mystery authors, and her books are engaging, well written and exciting to read. So I always end up reading them. In the case of ‘Alias’ the gruesome scenes were almost absent so I’m really happy to have read it.

A woman wakes up in a car accident next to a dead body. She doesn’t remember her name or how she got there. As she is recovering in hospital from her injuries, she discovers some facts about her identity which leaves her with more questions than answers. She realises that her life is in danger because she knows something that might implicate someone… but has no idea what or whom. The only person she trusts is Browen Pryce, the smart and beautiful detective who rescued her from the car wreck. Will they be able to solve the mystery before it’s too late?

‘Alias’ is written in first person from the point of view of the amnesiac woman (I won’t mention her name to avoid spoilers) which gives us perfect access to her headspace. Amnesia is quite a common occurrence in book plots sometimes to the verge of credibility. This is not the case as the events seem very realistic. Along with the characters, the readers slowly bring the pieces of the puzzle together. We suffer and get frustrated with the slow progress in reconstructing the events, the plot teasing us with incomplete memory flashbacks. Even though we know all that the character learns about herself, and without playing tricks on us, Ms. Hunter manages to deliver a twist at the end. This is mostly a mystery/thriller story, definitely not a romance but as usual in Ms. Hunter’s books there is an intense emotional connection between the main characters. Even though the romance doesn’t take too much space in the plot, it has a strong presence and the chemistry between the mains works very well.

This novel has a definite British feel and Ms. Hunter is unapologetic about her references to British popular culture, food and language. So much so that despite that I’ve been living in the UK for sixteen years, I was clueless about some of the regional words from the north of England and Wales. I’m glad that her latest books are less edited for the American market. It provides an authentic feel and aren’t a burden to understand. For the most obscure words, there’s always Google.

Overall, another excellent book by Ms. Hunter. A real treat for lesfic mystery fans. 5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘It’s not a date’ by Heather Blackmore.

This book’s title and blurb were a bit misleading for me, I expected a lighter read. ‘It’s not a date’ takes entrepreneur Kade Davenport on a deep soul searching journey looking for self redemption. Kade is a woman of great contradictions: professionally successful, widely recognised in her field, but personally inmature and insecure as a child. In a rare work-free day, Kade meets lovely Jen, a startup entrepreneur with a heart as big as her work ethic. Sparks fly but when they are both back home, eventually Kade finds herself as Jen’s boss. Will Kade be able to help Jen professionally and at the same time let Jen into her life?

The author works in finance for technology startup companies so she knows what she’s writing about. The plot touches the problems of gender inequality in the workplace in addition to the challenges of elderly care, dementia and conflicted relationships. Her characters are multilayered in their virtues and flaws. The main characters’ chemistry is believable and the intimate scenes are well written. Her depiction of Jen’s grandmother, suffering an early stage of dementia is accurate and sometimes heartbreaking. UK readers might get distracted by a secondary character’s name, “Jeremy Corbin” too similar to the current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. I’m not sure if the name choice was intentional.

Overall, a very enjoyable read that touches some difficult issues with tact. 4 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review of ‘Love at Cooper’s Creek’ by Missouri Vaun.

When Shaw Daily escapes San Francisco to her grandparents’ town of Cooper’s Creek to decompress from the stress of her corporate career, she finds there more than she bargained for. In the rural town she meets Kate Elkins, a beautiful school teacher in a sabbatical year to care for her aging mother. Along with love, Shaw discovers unexpected family secrets. Will Shaw be able to make peace with her past and take her budding relationship with Kate to the next level?

This book goes beyond the typical sweet romance and explores difficult subjects such as life choices, bereavement, aging and dementia. The author touches all these issues with tact and, at the same time, keeps our focus on the beautiful love story. The chemistry between the mains, the multi layered secondary characters and the well structured plot contribute towards a very pleasant read.

Overall, a very well written and sweet romance. 5 stars.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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